Saturday, August 28, 2010

Cooksey Maze

In the 1970s Richard Cooksey invented a cylindrical maze puzzle, which underwent some development by Pentangle Puzzles & Games but didn't ultimately become a commercial product. Puzzle inventor Oskar van Deventer recently adapted the puzzle and made it available through Shapeways as Cooksey Maze.

Oskar also designed a series of six Cooksey Tribute puzzles, each a different variation on the basic concept.

The ring has two pins that ride in the grooves on the cylinder; it's shaped so the user can choose one pin to lift out of the grooves, permitting the user to switch from one side of the 'maze' to the other. The ring is attractively cut with large openings for the user to look through, but the opaque material undesirably blocks the view of the maze. Oskar said he would have preferred to make the rings transparent, so I offered to try building a set on the SD300.

I built a complete set of six rings, corresponding to the six variants of Cooksey Trubute, using the amber-transparent material. The 3-4mm thick sidewalls aren't crystal clear, but they're sufficiently transparent to give a clear view of objects inside.

Sure enough! The transparent rings give a clear enough view to permit the puzzle to be explored and solved pleasantly.

M. Oskar van Deventer is offering a free Cooksey Maze to anyone who can put him into contact with Mr. Richard Cooksey.

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